Is Teeth Whitening a Permanent Solution to Tooth Stains?

If you have never opted to have your teeth whitened, you probably have a number of questions regarding the effectiveness of teeth whitening treatments. While teeth whitening treatments such as in-office bleaching trays and laser whitening are effective methods of removing stains from teeth, they are not permanent solutions. The same rule applies to home whitening techniques that utilize strips, trays or toothpaste.

However, while no single whitening treatment alone will ever provide a permanent solution, there are certain things that you can do to keep your teeth white all the time.

Cut out any Biting or Chewing Habits

You might wonder what biting nails or chewing pen lids has to do with whitening teeth but you might be surprised to know that these habits do in fact cause staining. Although your teeth are stronger than steel, they are also more brittle, which means that they are more likely to crack than steel. Habits like nail-biting and chewing on non-food items cause micro-cracks to form in tooth enamel.

These micro-cracks attract staining molecules (chromophores) that penetrate into the tooth via these cracks and cause your teeth to become discoloured. If your teeth are covered in tiny micro-cracks, they might not break, but they will certainly stain more easily.

Follow up in-Office Whitening with Home Whitening

In-office whitening treatments such as laser whitening by a dentist can last for 6 months or more as long as the conditions are right. If you practice good oral hygiene, don't bite your nails, stay away from staining foods and drinks like coffee and red wine, and have a healthy layer of thick (and white) enamel, your whitening may last years.

However, eventually, due to age, wear and tear and the foods that you eat on a daily basis, your teeth may eventually begin to darken again. To prevent this, top up your whitening with at-home treatments such as whitening trays, whitening strips, and whitening toothpaste. But do not overdo it as you may damage your teeth and gums due to constantly exposing them to the powerful bleaching agents contained in these whitening treatments.  Stick to around every 3 months for safety's sake.

Porcelain Veneers are Almost Permanent

If you are looking for a more permanent solution, porcelain veneers might be the answer. While not permanent, these thin porcelain shells can last for up to 20 years as long as you care for them. The best thing about veneers is that staining foods like coffee and red wine don't stain them as they do your natural teeth.

There are many ways to keep your teeth white but remember that without proper oral hygiene, your teeth may not receive the full benefit. A healthy set of teeth will stay white for much longer than an unhealthy set.